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Obliterating dubstep stutters and crisp electropop pulses. Hazy electrostatic breezes and epinephrine dancefloor turnarounds. SYLVAN ESSO—the singer Amelia Meath of Mountain Man and the producer (and Megafaun bassist) Nick Sanborn—create “endlessly elastic and three-dimensional” (NPR) songs that conjure up dreamlike conflations of sensuality and sexual depravity, homesickness and wanderlust, nostalgia and immediacy. The duo came together in Durham, NC in 2013 after the two met on a shared bill and Meath asked Sanborn to remix a song she had written for Mountain Man. Aesthetic sympathies were discovered, artistic sparks flew, and the resulting self-titled debut record, released on Partisan Records in May of 2014, made them one of the fastest rising bands of last year. The leap from small clubs to festival stages may have been been swift but it’s also seamless—their sound is huge, and their live show is a celebratory revelation.
The prolific songwriter Aaron Maine’s PORCHES has mined darker and weirder sonic territory in the past, but its latest incarnation—a lineup that includes Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos—makes “danceable, shimmery pop with rock instruments (keyboards too), in an ’80s-sorta way.” (Brooklyn Vegan)